If you’re running a business, you’re often operating on razor-thin margins and you prefer to leave as little up to chance as possible. If you need a commercial HVAC system, it’s not a problem solved by a simple Google search. A call to Ace Plumbing, however, can get you much closer to a solution. Here are some tips to choose the right HVAC for a commercial building.
Choose the Right HVAC Contractor
Why is this your first step? As you read further, you’ll see that there’s much more to choosing HVAC for a commercial building than some back-of-the-envelope math and reading a few reviews. To get the job right the first time — and let’s be frank, this is both too complex and too expensive to do any other way — it’s vital to find an HVAC contractor who knows what they’re doing. A few quick tips in choosing the right contractor:
- Experience matters, but learning matters more; make sure your contractor is current on best practices and the latest technology.
- Insist on references, for reasons that should be obvious.
- Be sure that your contractor is properly licensed and insured.
- Get a written estimate; a good contractor knows it’s as much for their protection as yours.
- Never choose on price alone. Low bid projects tend to be much more expensive in the long term.
What to Look for When Choosing the Right Commercial HVAC
There are a number of factors that go into choosing the correct HVAC system for a commercial property. If you’ve ever chosen a system for your home, you’ll find that a number of the same principles apply here. What’s different is the usage patterns, which are influenced not only by the building’s architecture, but also by the type of business, its hours, occupancy rates, and a number of other factors. That’s why it’s important to choose a contractor like Ace Plumbing over a competitor that may have extensive residential experience but whose commercial background may be lacking. Here’s more of what to look out for.
The Right Equipment
Some contractors will fall back on older HVAC equipment with the rationale that it’s tried and true, or that it’s simply less expensive. As you know if you’ve driven a recent-model car versus its older version, technology evolves fast. What was efficient and state-of-the-art a few years ago won’t cut it now. Choose accordingly, even if it means paying more in the short term to save money on utilities later.
The Right Components
Heating and air conditioning are more than just heating and air conditioning. Optimal humidity is important for comfort, and for some businesses it can be even more important than temperature. Likewise, you want a system that will be as energy-efficient as it is effective, so advanced controls are a must. There’s also the matter of the type of system to be installed. Heat can be delivered via forced air or radiant heat, and the system itself can be either gas or electric-based. Each has its advantages, disadvantages, and even legal and permitting issues, so it’s important that your contractor gives you the right advice for your needs.
The Right Size
This is perhaps the most important factor of all, and it’s also the easiest to get wrong. Why? Because inexperienced contractors size systems the same way the average homeowner would: spitball the square footage, and then get something rated larger than the square footage, because bigger must be better, right?
Wrong. The wrong-sized system won’t do its job nearly as well, and the size is easy to get wrong because if you’re doing it right, you’re not just calculating square footage. As mentioned earlier, we’re considering other factors, including usage patterns, the volume of your space, its insolation (the amount of incoming sunlight) and a host of other things. It’s not a job for a layperson!
There are other considerations and questions that aren’t best addressed in a blog post, especially since each business brings unique needs to the table. With that in mind, we suggest you call Ace Plumbing for your Sacramento commercial HVAC needs. We’ll consult with you, assess the big picture, and give you a free commercial HVAC quote. Get in touch today!